2012 Presidential Election
The Independent Political Report is saying that Gary Johnson will announce his decision to jump to the Libertarian Party today, but then backtracks with an update that says no, he didn’t actually say it, he’s just hinting at it. As I’m writing this, it’s flopping around all over Twitter, but I’m not sure it actually means anything as of yet. Obviously, that may change.
I certainly hope that Johnson runs for the Libertarian Party. The RNC and the GOP have done nothing but ignore him and all but spit in his face. For a party that purports to be about cutting back government, they don’t seem to tolerate candidates who, you know, actually cut back government.
If Johnson runs on the Libertarian line, and even gets just, say, 2% of the vote, he’ll give the Libertarian Party badly needed publicity. (Could you imagine all the headlines from the Post and the New York Times? “Libertarian Party Candidate Breaks 1% Mark—OH NOES!”) And, hopefully, he can restore the smudge on their reputation after their last nominee, former Republican congresscritter Bob Barr (who just recently endorsed Newt Gingrich, of all people.)
Donald Trump has backed out of the December 27th debate, hosted by the conservative magazine, Newsmax, after several Republicans candidates turned down invitations to participate. Why? Well, Trump says it’s because he is still considering an independent bid for president:
Donald Trump has backed out of moderating a Republican debate because, he says, he’s still considering running for president as an independent candidate.
In a statement on Tuesday, Trump said that GOP candidates are “very concerned” that he will announce an independent candidacy after “The Apprentice” ends, and that they won’t agree to a debate with him unless he rules that out. Which he won’t do.
“It is very important to me that the right Republican candidate be chosen to defeat the failed and very destructive Obama Administration, but if that Republican, in my opinion, is not the right candidate, I am not willing to give up my right to run as an Independent candidate,” Trump said in his statement. “Therefore, so that there is no conflict of interest within the Republican Party, I have decided not to be the moderator of the Newsmax debate.”
While reading Twitter this morning, I saw the ever erudite Larry Sabato tweet: “New “Justice Party” (if real) hurts Obama. Others will hurt Rs. Close election can be determined by few votes here & there going to Inds.” (Sorry; I’m not yet on “NewNewTwitter,” so I don’t have that embed function. Yet.)
Looking up this “Justice Party,” which I had never heard of before, I found some interesting things, namely, that it is basically a vehicle for the former mayor of Salt Lake City, Utah to run for president:
SALT LAKE CITY — Former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson has formed a new political party and plans to run for president.
To be known as the Justice Party, Anderson sees it as a grassroots movement that over the long term will bring about the shift in American politics that he says citizens crave.
“The people are the ones who always bring about major change in this country, and we need to provide that power to people throughout the country,” he said Wednesday on KSL Radio’s Doug Wright Show.
“They want to see an alternative party. They recognize that these two militarist, corporatist parties have brought us to this disastrous place to where we are today.”
Well, I can certainly sympathize with that—and I’m very glad Mr. Anderson is using “corporatist” to describe the two parties. If we’re going to make any headway in this country, we need to get people to understand that we have today is by no means “capitalism,” but rather cronyist corporatism, and I think on that front, we are slowly winning.
Unfortunately, I don’t really think Mr. Anderson is on the right track, if you catch my drift:
During a recent sit down with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Newt Gingrich, who is leading the polls in the race for the GOP nomination, said that Mitt Romney is on his list of potential running mates (video at the link):
Newt Gingrich has at least one name on his list of potential running mates: GOP rival Mitt Romney. “I think Mitt Romney is a very admirable person, and I’m not going to pick a fight with Mitt Romney,” Gingrich said in an interview Wednesday with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.
When asked if he would ever ask Romney to be his vice presidential nominee, Gingrich didn’t mince words.
“I think the consensus is that he’d certainly be on the list, whether he’d want to or not,” Gingrich said. “He’s a very competent person. This is a very serious man. I would certainly support him if he became the Republican nominee.”
Um, no thanks. Both Gingrich, who is the source of skepticism amongst conservatives, and Romney have supported an individual mandate for health insurances, bailouts, and other big government programs. Gingrich lobbied for GSEs like Freddie Mac, which helped inflate the housing bubble. Romney changes his beliefs almost daily. Neither of them are serious about reducing the size of the federal government.
A Gingrich/Romney ticket would essentially be asking voters to sign off on everything wrong with the GOP. That would be an electoral disaster.
Looks like Obama is going to have a tougher time getting back in the White House next year, according to WMAL:
A report released Wednesday by the centrist think-tank Third Way showed that more than 825,000 voters in eight key battleground states have fled the Democratic Party since Obama won election in 2008.
“The numbers show that Democrats’ path to victory just got harder,” said Lanae Erickson, the report’s co-author. “We are seeing both an increase in independents and a decrease in Democrats and that means the coalition they have to assemble is going to rely even more on independents in 2012 than it did in 2008.”
Amid frustrating partisan gridlock and unprecedentedly low party-approval ratings, the number of voters registering under a major party is falling fast, but it is also falling disproportionately.
In eight states that will be must-wins in 2012 — Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina and Pennsylvania — Democrats lost 5.4 percent of their registered voters while Republicans lost 3.1 percent. The number of independent voters in those states jumped 3.4 percent.
This is not really news; voters have been fleeing both major parties over the past decade due to overactive hyperpartisanship, a greatly expanded bounty of information from blogs and social media that have destroyed “big media“‘s credibility, and that neither party is actually focusing on delivering a consistent message and consistent policy, but has been playing too much politics. What is interesting is that more are fleeing Democrats than Republicans—at least in these states, and I think that has to do with a couple of things:
It might be too good to be true. From the Daily Caller:
Long excluded from the Republican presidential debates, former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson is now seriously considering a third party run for president in 2012.
Johnson, should he decide to run as third party candidate, could act as a spoiler by siphoning away much-needed votes from the GOP nominee. Veteran Republican strategist Roger Stone, a Johnson supporter, told The Daily Caller earlier this month that such an effort would “pose a great danger for the Republicans” if they nominate a candidate like former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
This is one of the reasons why I think we desperately need to switch to approval voting. Anytime anyone thinks of making an independent or third party run in order to get around the deliberately unfair system, others chime in “But ooooohhhh noooo! That’ll be a spoiler! The other guy who we really don’t want to win will win! You can’t do that! Besides, you’d just waste your vote!”
Baloney. Voting is about choosing the person who best fits your views. There is no such thing as a “wasted vote,” unless you vote for someone who you really don’t agree with. If I voted for, say, Newt Gingrich (which I won’t), I would wasting my vote. This is the fundamental axiom of democracy. It fails when we all engage in tactical voting.
Then, of coures, there’s the GOP’s utter stupidity:
Could Occupy Wall Street be helping Republicans? Neal Boortz seems to think so:
We’ve seen demonstrations like this before. As George Will writes:
“From 1965 through 1968 the left found its voice and style in consciousness-raising demonstrations and disruptions. In November 1968, the nation, its consciousness raised, elected Richard Nixon President and gave 56.9 percent of the popular vote to Nixon or George Wallace. Republicans won four of the next five presidential elections.”
That’s why I want these protests to continue. Step ‘em up if you Occupiers can manage that as well. I need more occupiers calling my show to tell me that the top 1% of income earners in this country earn “about 75% of all income” and that the corporate tax rate is “15%”. We need more video of occupiers telling America that for every dollar individuals pay in income tax “corporations only pay 25 cents. I know because I read that on-line.” I need to hear from more experienced “activists” who have glommed on to the occupiers push such things like opposition to the death penalty.
These occupiers are the best campaigners the Republicans have right now. Keep it up and keep the spotlight on them. I’m loving it.
During an interview yesterday evening with conservative talk show host Mark Levin, Sarah Palin, former Governor of Alaska, will not run for president in 2012:
Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin announced Wednesday evening that she would not be running for president in 2012.
On the Mark Levin radio show Wednesday evening, Palin said she believed she would have more impact outside of the race. The decision ends over a year of speculation about the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee’s plans.
“Not being a candidate, really you are unshackled and you’re able to be even more active,” she told Levin. “I need to be able to say what I want to say.”
Palin, who made the speculation of a bid unnecessarily dramatic, sent out a full statement shortly after the interview, noting that her efforts in 2012 would be focused on “replacing the President, re-taking the Senate, and maintaining the House”:
I really do think that, if he took the nomination, Ron Paul could potentially win the general. He couldn’t have done it in ‘08—he was simply too far out back then—but there is a slim chance that if he got there this year, he could do it. It’s definitely not a 100% possibility; I’m not saying he would, I’m saying he could. Why do I think so? Because of things like this, which I found in National Review Online last week:
On this Monday night, there is already a long line of people winding down an East Village street waiting to be admitted into Webster Hall, which brands itself as “NYC’s largest and longest running nightclub” and boasts that it has hosted Green Day, Prince, and Mick Jagger. There are college students drinking Four Loko out of a plastic water bottle; everyone is carded at the door; the bar in the middle of the venue is hopping; and when I identify myself as a reporter, an event organizer hands me a voucher for a free cocktail.
But this isn’t a concert. This is an event featuring a keynote speech by GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul.
In an interview with George Stephanopoulos, host of Good Morning America, President Barack Obama admits that Americans are worse off now than when he took office — que the ads, boys — and says he is the underdog in 2012:
resident Obama on Monday took the extraordinary step of declaring himself the underdog in the 2012 race for the White House.
He acknowledged that voters are not better off than they were four years ago, and face a mortgage crisis, unemployment above 9 percent and a bumpy stock market.
“Well, I don’t think they’re better off than they were four years ago. They’re not better off than they were before Lehman’s collapse, before the financial crisis, before this extraordinary recession that we’re going through,” Obama said in a television interview.
“Nobody’s going to deny we’re not where we need to be,” said Obama, who after a tough primary fight sailed to election in 2008 on the promise of hope and change, winning states no Democrat had won in a generation.
“I don’t mind,” Obama said. “I’m used to being the underdog.”
By casting himself in that role, Obama is managing expectations for his reelection bid with both the media and his political base, which has been unhappy with White House concessions to Republicans.
Um, Barack Obama was not the underdog when he ran for the United States Senate in 2004 and, while the race against John McCain in 2008 was contentious, he had momentum nearly the entire campaign. Don’t play that card here. Yeah, his poll numbers are poor and most Americans — either pluralities or slight majorities — believe that he shouldn’t be re-elected; but he is still leading most of his potential Republican opponents.